Monday, January 29, 2007
Hope and a Christmas Rose
I looked over the last few blogs and decided that there were too many words, not enough pictures. Too much serious stuff.
So, here's a photograph of a Christmas Rose that's growing, right now, in my winter garden. (The link here is to someone else's Christmas Rose, so you can see what they look like open.) No, it's not really a rose, but that's what it's called, and it blooms in the winter, perhaps at Christmas. Years ago I read a short story about a Christmas Rose blooming in a garden in England, but I don't remember anything else about the story. Just that the flower bloomed in winter, and I was fascinated. I assumed it was a "real" rose, but as you can see from the picture, a Christmas Rose looks different, and I just learned that its Latin name is Helleborus Niger. If the flowers aren't too frozen by our cold winter, they will open (like the one on the website linked above) and have a pink hue. Next to my Christmas Rose is a Lenten Rose, which has dusty pink buds already coming up, but which blooms later in the winter, closer to Easter.
Why does any of this matter? To me, watching something grow, especially grow in the cold, bitter days of winter, is a sign of hope, a reminder about living things, things growing and surviving and thriving even in harsh circumstances. Like life continuing despite cancer.
So, I'm thinking about hope and my Christmas Rose today, four days from the beginning of my chemo treatment. I'm feeling good today, and tomorrow I go back to campus to teach my classes, third week of the semester. What speaks of hope to you?